Friday, July 17, 2015

Review: Pittsburgh Thunderbirds (AUDL)

Part of the series critiquing professional ultimate team logos and nicknames.

Team: Pittsburgh Thunderbirds

Web: // twitter: @PGHThunderbirds

Representation: City // League: AUDL

Disc within logo?: No. // Ultimate element in team name?: No.

Background: A ballot of 18 potential team names were voted on by MARS Ultimate Tournament 2014 participants, and "Thunderbirds" was later announced as the winner. A thunderbird is an enormous bird with huge wingspans, and similar in appearance to a condor. Generally, the creature is regarded as a myth.

First impression(s) from SLUDGE: Besides borrowing elements from existing AUDL teams, the bird reminds me of the USPS icon.

Eli's Eval: The lightning bird logo does a nice job of hiding two elements in one. The easy way out would have been to make the eye a bolt but the designer incorporated it into the shape of the head while retaining the anatomy of the head and beak. I'm not sure what the dog-leg slash [indicated below in red dotted outline] in the gray shape is for, so that could go.
The light stroke around the outside of the gold shape seems too light and I think it would be better off without it. Even a slight white space/negative space between the two shapes would serve the same purpose more effectively. Backing up this theory is that the design looks much better in its embroidered form on the hats than it does on the discs or tees where it maintains its intentional structure.

The type is simple and bold and effective. The metal plate it is set on is a nice nod to the steel city and its rust belt history. The rivets are simple, the drop-shadow is not overdone, and the letter-spacing is consistently good. (Save between the B and I, and R and D.) The city name is clear at a small size and the designing type on a curve is never easy, so bonus points there.

The only other thing that I keep going back to is the rounded left edge of the eye: the rest of the design is pointy and sharp and angular and aggressive and this little teardrop on such an important part of the design just seems like a lost opportunity for consistency and stylistic reinforcement.

:Eli's Grades:
Grade: B+
On Logo: B+
On Typography: B+

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